By JOHN G. WOLFE
Twelve people were arrested and one warrant is outstanding in a drug sweep conducted by the Lewis County Sheriff's Department across the county last Friday. Commenting on the arrests, Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy said, "The unified effort amongst the community and law enforcement has been paramount in making out county a better place to live and raise our children."
Sheriff Gissy acknowledged that combatting illegal drugs is a never-ending job, saying, "We acknowledge the fact that illegal narcotics are still being sold and possessed within our community, however, I am in hopes that the aggressive and consistent stance we have taken on drug dealers serves as a deterrent for those directly, or indirectly involved in the drug trade." The bottom line is that per capita, the Lewis County Sheriff's Department has made more drug-related arrests than any county in the state.
Those arrested in the Friday drug sweep, with most being charged with felony delivery or conspiracy to deliver drugs to confidential informants, included:
Jamie L. Butcher, 32, of Terrace Avenue, Weston; charged with two counts delivery of synthetic marijuana, bond set at $100,000.
Travis Caddell, 20, of Clover Fork Road, Orlando; charged with delivery of hydrocodone and clonazepam, bond set at $100,000.
Tamara L. Cain, 25, of Arch Street, Weston; charged with delivery of hydrocodone, bond set at $50,000.
Roger L. Clem II, 26, of Craig Street, Weston; charged with two counts delivery of oxycodone, bond set at $100,000.
Eric C. Henry, 29, of Arch Street, Weston; charged with delivery of hydrocodone, bond set at $50,000.
Sarah E. Jones, 24, of Cottage Avenue, Weston; charged with two counts delivery of heroin, bond set at $100,000.
Gayle L. Lowther, 37, of Broad Street, Weston; charged with two counts delivery of hydrocodone, bond set at $100,000.
Dawn M. Oldaker, 36, of Lee Street, Weston; charged with conspiracy for driving Samual Oldaker to make a drug deal, bond set at $50,000.
Samuel J. Oldaker, 40, of Lee Street, Weston; charged with delivery of hydrocodone and oxycodone, bond set at $100,000.
Daniel M. Pascasio, 19, U.S. Hwy33W, Weston; charged with delivery of marijuana, bond set at $50,000.
Anthony E. Posey, 29, of Hackers Creek Road, Jane Lew; charged with delivery of oxycodone, bond set at $50,000.
Richard G. Smith III, 19, of Westfield Road, Jane Lew; charged with delivery of acid (LSD)and conspiracy to deliver marijuana, bond set at $100,000.
The warrants were served early last Friday morning, and were the result of efforts made by the police throughout the year.
3 Are Held
Three area men are facing felony charges after being accused of breaking into a Bank Street residence and assaulting the occupants of that residence on Nov. 19.
Douglas C. Queen, Jr., 25, of Sassafras Run Road, and Edwin Charles Rowe, 28, of Kitson Street, stand charged with nighttime burglary, assault during the commission of a felony and conspiracy. William Shae Rogers, 23, of Abby Lane, Jane Lew, is charged with nighttime burglary and conspiracy. All were charged by Lt. R.M. Flanigan of the Weston Police Department on Nov. 20, with warrants issued by Magistrate Michael R. Gissy on Dec. 2. Warrants for others involved have been secured, but had yet to be served at press time.
According to Flanigan's complaint, a total of five people went to an apartment on Bank Street where they kicked the door down. It was then that Flanigan alleges that Rowe attacked a male resident hitting and kicking him several times, while Queen held the resident's girlfriend by the throat. Another male exited the bathroom and came to the defense of the victims and was physically assaulted by Queen.
Another male, not yet arrested, restrained the female while the male that exited the bathroom was assaulted by Queen. When the male started to get the best of Queen, the male holding the female let her go and also began assaulting the man. The victim was struck in the face several times by Queen and the other yet-to-be arrested male, and while in the fetal position was punched and kicked. He told police that he believed he was hit with brass knuckles, and would later receive 13 stitches to a gash over his right eye. He also suffered a fractured nose, cut on his left cheek and a swollen lower lip.
Rogers is accused of helping with the break-in, but there is no mention in Flanigan's complaint of him participating the assaults.
The three were arrested and arraigned in Lewis County Magistrate Court last Tuesday and remain held in the Central Regional Jail pending posting of bail or other court action. Bail for Queen and Rowe was set at $100,000. Rogers's bail is $50,000.
Former Lewis County High School band director and Weston resident Floyd Ellsworth Friend, Jr., age 40, pled guilty to felony use of a minor in filming sexually explicit conduct last Thursday in Lewis County Circuit Court. The plea came as a result of an agreement between the state, represented in court by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Bailey, Friend and his attorney Jason Glass.
Under the plea agreement, Friend would receive a 10-year suspended prison sentence, replaced with five years of probation. During his probation term, Friend would be required to undergo sex offender counseling and treatment.
In addition, he would have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life and surrender his license to teach in West Virginia. Under the terms of the probation, the state would not object to contact between Friend and the victim, who is now an adult and plans to marry him.
As part of the agreement, other felony charges of possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and distribution and display to a minor of obscene material would be dismissed.
The plea agreement was taken under advisement by Circuit Judge Kurt Hall, who made it clear to all that he was not required to accept the plea or the terms of the agreement.
Another hearing is set for March 11, at 8:30 a.m. Between now and then, Friend must undergo a sex offender psychiatric examination by a court-approved psychiatrist. The results of that examination could have a bearing on whether Judge Hall accepts the plea agreement. Sentencing will likely occur on that date.
The victim, identified as KBR, was present in court with members of Friend's family and said that she agreed with the terms of the plea deal. She also told the judge that she was "not a victim" and that she wanted to, "make it clear that I was the only minor involved in this case."
The alleged crime occurred when KBR, then 17 years-old, was a student of Friend's. Although it is unclear whether sexual relations between the two began during or after Friend resigned his post as a teacher. At Friend's preliminary hearing, KBR testified that the two had engaged in sexual relations during the time that Friend was her teacher. She later indicated that she had her dates mixed up and that intimate relations began after he had resigned. As the major witness for the state, this would have made prosecuting Friend on the other charges difficult.
Regardless, police found sexually explicit photos of KBR on Friend's cell phone taken when she was a minor. Friend told the court that the two were involved in a relationship and that he didn't know that this conduct was illegal.
The court agreed to modify Friend's bond, lowering it from $145,000 surety and $5,000 cash to $20,000 cash or surety and $5,000 personal recognizance. The state did not object to the bond modification, but did request that should Friend be released on bond that he be on home confinement and have no contact with the victim until he is sentenced. The judge agreed and indicated that other conditions of the bond would include a provision requiring Friend to have no contact with any other minors other than his children. If unable to post bail and upon a possible return to jail the judge warned him, "Remember that all jail phone calls are monitored."
Friend was able to post bail soon after the hearing last Thursday. He is now free on bond pending further court action. He had been in jail since July 16.